It had snowed about a foot two days ago. The snow plows had begun to make their presence felt. People were able to get out of their homes and get to the stores now. The plowed snow was piled up a good four feet on each side of the entrances to the grocery store parking lots. The thermometer on the screen porch said it was 7° but my 70-year old body said that was a lie. The news channel had it at least ten degrees lower. I believed them.
We were out of black pepper, so I went in to get some. While I was there, I decided to stalk the isles along the meat displays. Stir fry was about $2.49 a pound. I got an inspiration. I would take the thin strips of pork, cut them into little cubes, and bread them in flour, pepper, cayenne pepper and salt. I got some Reams Home Style Egg Noodles. I would fry the meat, boil the noodles and make a Vietnamese style soup with that. Forget the mushrooms and vegetables. This $5.00 purchase would easily last two meals. That's how some people think when it's cold.
I got in line. The women in front of me were going to take until tomorrow for me to get through. I moved to the speed line by the front door. You can go through it if you just have a couple of items. Foiled again. There were several in front of me there too, but it wouldn't take long.
To the left of the cashier, behind some displays I saw her. She had to be more than sixteen, but less than twenty four. She had long blond hair; but was the color real? Her hair was pulled back into a long pony-tail effect. It cascaded down her back in billions of curls. The hair in the front had been separated and braided into two fine braids that were pulled around the rest to keep it out of her face.
She had a red, long "sweater" of some sort. It was thicker than a t-shirt because of the ribbed pattern giving it thickness. It may have been made of wool to give it some warmth. I don't remember if she just had the sleeves pulled down to cover her fingers, or whether she had mittens or fingerless gloves. I was smitten with her face and shape.
The hem of her "sweater" covered most of her butt; what there was of it. She had the hips of a fourteen year old boy. From the bottom of the read "sweater" were the shapeliest skinny-jeans legs you would see. They disappeared into some long, high, tan leather boots. Was this for looks, or to get through the snow?
Her red "sweater" was covered with a tiny blue denim vest. The bottom edge barely reached the bottom of her breasts. The front of the vest was not buttoned. It probably wouldn't have gone that far.
I watched her dance. Where were the ear buds? I couldn't see any. She wasn't really dancing. She moved back and forth; slowly, shifting her weight from one foot to the other. But she wasn't standing flat-footed. She seemed to be bouncing slowly; slightly up and down on the ball of the foot supporting her. "She's teasing me'" I thought. Was she dancing or not? I couldn't figure it out.
I was too far away, but I just knew she smelled like the perfumed love letter from my first girlfriend. She had that smell of fresh cut cedar firewood in the cold morning air; with its sap still fresh.